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Cawston Ostrich Farm Papers: Finding Aid
mssCawston Ostrich Farm Papers  
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Collection Overview
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This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, documents, and ephemera of the Cawston Ostrich Farm of Southern California chiefly reflecting financial, business, and legal affairs of the company and one of its owners, the Vatcher Family, as well as the ostrich feather industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Cawston Ostrich Farm was established in 1886 by Edwin Cawston, a native of England. The farm was originally located in Norwalk, California. Cawston moved his ostriches to South Pasadena in 1896 along the banks of the Arroyo Seco and marketed the enterprise as a tourist attraction. The farm was the first ostrich farm in the United States, thus South Africa’s first competitors in the ostrich feather industry. Cawston also took on the Germany feather dyeing monopoly and opened his own operations in California. The feathers and dyes produced at Cawston Ostrich Farm won medals in fairs throughout the world between 1904 and 1920. The farm was famous for being both a tourist attraction, bringing in thousands of visitors, and a premium feather manufacturer.
  • Edwin Cawston ([1866]–1920) 1895 m. Frances Routh (1871-?)

    Children of Edwin and Frances Cawston:

    • Arthur H. Cawston, 1896
      • m. Helene Hartman in 1913 and divorced 1914
      • m. Edna Mae (d. 1965)

        Children Arthur and Edna Mae Cawston:

        • Beverley m. William L. Thomas
    • George Cawston (1898–1918)
    • Edwin Cawston, Jr. (born [1900])

      Children of Edwin Cawston, Jr.:

      • Edwin Cawston III (born [1923])
      • Second son (born 1925)
  • Second marriage of Edwin Cawston 1901 m. Edith Doran

    Children of Edwin and Edith Cawston:

    • John Cawston, 1908
    • Daughter
  • Herbert J. Vatcher, Jr. Family Tree

  • Herbert J. Vatcher, Sr. (1859–1931), b. Dorsetshire, England, m. Mary Hyde Vatcher

    Children of Mary and Herbert Vatcher, Sr.:

    • Herbert J. Vatcher, Jr. (1884-[1910]) m. Lillian Claire Craig (born [1885])

      Children of Lillian and Herbert Vatcher Jr.:

      • Herbert J. Vatcher, III
      • Lillian Claire (born 1912) m. Thomas Van Einburgh in 1935
  • William H. Vatcher (1888–1960)
    • Three children: Jane, Marjorie and William
  • Ernest G. Vatcher (died 1961) m. Mary L.

    Children of Ernest and Mary:

    • Joan Elizabeth m. Charles E. Taylor in 1946
  • Mary Elizabeth Vatcher (goes by Elizabeth)
  • Other Vatcher family

  • Charles E. Vatcher, Herbert J. Vatcher’s brother
  • Bessie Daffurn, Herbert J. Vatcher’s sister
  • Rose Craig, Lillian Craig Vatcher’s sister
  • Elizabeth Rowe, Lillian Craig Vatcher’s sister
  • Extent
    1,156 items in 6 boxes and one oversize folder.
    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.